Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2 – Retribution – Beating the Game on Primarch, with Space Marines

Beating the game on the hardest (worst) setting.

The First Mission(s)

All credit goes to Captain_Sharky!

The first 1/4 of the campaign is a brutal hellscape. There isn’t much you can do this early on in the campaign, except push through very slowly using Diomedes as live bait for stronger units.

What units should you be using for this section?

  • Tactical marines – Able to *kind of* survive ranged combat, but are mainly useful for their kraken rounds. Keep them safe behind Diomedes, and avoid melee fights at all cost.
  • Lascannon Devastators – Necessary for wounding heavy or elite units, keep them behind the tactical marines.
  • Scouts, Rino transports, normal Devastators, Assault Marines, etc. are useless DO NOT bring them.

What wargear should I bring?

  • Melta Bombs – Self explanatory
  • Sniper (Cyrus) – Keep special weapons squads off Diomedes back, and take out/slow down special melee units.
  • Demolition Charges (Cyrus) – For when things go REALLY bad, make sure you have a squad or Diomedes tie down the unit(s) so they get hit by the explosion.
  • Iron Halo (Diomedies) – Get good at using the iron halo to block melee attacks from special units such as Carnifex or Walker units.

How should I progress through the levels?

  • Slow and steady wins the race, for most missions there is no time limit, retreat often, cry less.
  • You will not be able to get all of the mission goals on protect missions, keep your squads tightly bundled together around a smaller group of objectives. Remember, only one objective has to stand.
  • Diomedes is your greatest strategic asset, use him to bait elite units into a battlefield of YOUR choosing.
  • Always keep one unit/hero all the way back at your base, as long as they live you cannot fail the mission.

Leveling Up – For dummies


  • Dump all points into health and Melee, anything else isn’t worth it.
  • Focus primarily on health, at least until you unlock the “Heal when shot by small arms” perk.
  • Remeber, Diomedies needs to be able to take on (more like bait) super units, he needs to be VERY durable.

Everyone else

  • Get upgrades that buff Terminators, everything else is secondary.

Swapping Hero Units, and the Race for Terminators

Heroes, on anything except normal difficulty, suck. As soon as you can replace them, do so. A terminator squad will always be a better choice than Cyrus. And the best part about these elites, is that they are free, and highly expendable.

What tactics should I use with my elites?

  • Attack Move – cover is worthless on Primarch mode, the only choice is to advance on the enemy.
  • Spam special abilities and items since your going to die soon anyways.
  • ALWAYS keep at least one person back at the relay, a scout squad will suffice for this purpose, because things go wrong very quickly, and everyone will die several times during a mission.

What Should I do with my leftover hero units now?

  • Scrap all of their wargear, you won’t be using them ever again, and Diomedes needs more levels.


  • Terminators are going to be your go to choice for this campaign, as soon as you can choose them as an award, do so. Afterwards, race for the Cyclone Missile Launcher and Assault Cannon.
  • They will of course still die very quickly, but the have the necessary DPS to get through the game as it progresses, plus they can melee vehicles to death, very useful for the Land Raider and Daisy mission.

What about vehicles?

  • They suck, don’t take them. Anti-armor weapons, from the humble rokket, to the mighty Lascannon can annihilate your vehicles in seconds. Not worth it.

Mid Game, and Late Game

After you have Terminators, the game is pretty much the same thing over and over again, but hey, your already this far in, why not finish it?

  • Remember, attack move is your friend.
  • Keep a unit safe and snug at your base, he’s your anchor for the mission.
  • The “X” button is your friend, no shame in running away.

Slaying Kyras, the Hardest Hurdle

The final mission is the hardest part of the game on Primarch. Your Terminators will die every little inch, and the mission will take you about an hour to finish.


  • Everyone dies VERY fast, do NOT take Diomedies into the fray, it is quintessential that he remains the anchor for the mission.
  • Once your pop cap is maxed out with Terminators, avoid going out of your way for more resources, it’s just a waste of time.

Killing Kyras – AKA the worst part of the mission.

  • Kyras has an insane health bar, and conventional means of combat will not work, you can not Dred spam him, you cannot kill him with Diomedes, you can not ask him to kill himself either.
  • The solution to the dilemma is Terminators with Cyclone Missile Launchers. Station your Terminator horde to the right of the stronghold next to Kyras’ boss room. The open ledge can fit all of your Terminators on it, AND get them in range of Kyras (who, thankfully cannot reach you). Make sure one of the squads doesn’t try entering the boss room to fire his missiles.
  • Rinse and repeat ad-infinitum, until you can call down an orbital bombardment and end the mission.

Congrats! You’ve killed Kyras and saved the chapter, enjoy your achievement.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13931 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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